Tuesday, January 20, 2015

DIY Orange Peel Oil Lamp

DIY Orange Peel Oil Lamp 
I have been asked to make an orange peel oil lamp a few times over the last couple weeks and decided to make one this weekend just to see if it was a gimmick or a decent option fora DIY candle/oil lamp.The video below is an overview of the entire process and shows how I make the oil lamp and also shows you how they are holding up after six hours of burn time (I ran out of time to let them burn an longer). So check out the video and picture tutorial and I will give you my thoughts on this little experiment in the conclusions section at the end of the article.

Orange Peel Oil Lamp Video Tutorial:

Orange Peel Oil Lamp Construction In Pictures:
1) This little DIY Candle/Oil Lamp only requires three things to make a) Orange (the ones I used are of the small variety); B) Knife for cutting into the orange (Pictured is a PLSK2 by Battle Horse Knives) and olive oil.
2) Your first step is to slice into  the orange cutting just the peel and not reaching the core of the fruit as you need to keep it in tact for a wick. Make this cut around the entire circumference of the orange.
3) Place your thumbs into the orange carefully separating the orange from the peel being careful not to remove the center stem as well. You will want to try to separate the wedges as well if possible this helps retain the stem (shows this in the video a little better).
4) You will then be left with half of an orange peel with no holes and a center stem to act as your wick.
5) Fill your orange peel with the desired amount of olive oil being sure to get a decent amount on the wick.
6) Straighten and light the stem/wick and you have a DIY candle/ oil lamp. The stem/wick may take up to 30 seconds or so to light just be patient and use a grill lighter if possible.

7) You can use the upper portion of the peel to act as a reflector to concentrate heat and light as pictured on the left or leave it open as showed on the right.
8) You can setup your DIY Oil Lamp in two configurations that I have found so far one that is for maximum light or one that is for maximum burn time. To make the one on the left simply make the wick much shorter and put a minimal amount of oil in the peel and it will give you more glow. To make the one on the right keep the wick as long as possible and fill as close to the top of the wick as you can leaving enough room to light the wick/stem (this configuration could potentially stay lit until the peel rotted away if you you accidentally burn up all of the wick you would just need to keep the oil level as close to the top of the wick as possible at all times).
9) Just a look at the illumination vs. long-term oil lamp options

The initial smell of citrus filled the room with a pleasant smell; however, 6 hours into the burn time the citrus smell had dissipated to nearly no smell. As a candle or point source for heat this project works well but don't expect enough light to read by or do intricate tasks. I would rate this project mostly as a novelty but a good skill to have in case of emergency and you find yourself without your candle supply but a whole bag of oranges (not a high probability situation) and bottle of olive oil. I can see this being a good craft project to take on for special events as decorations or table garnish. I look forward to seeing your attempts at this little project and modifications you make to it to make it your own.

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